Kiwiwriters Cafe 2006

Page Seven

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New Zealand

What is New Zealand?

It’s a place that lies at the top of the bottom of the world

It’s a place of two islands and a full stop

It’s a place of great diversity hoping for a single unity

It’s a place where visitors come to and the natives leave

It’s a place of green surrounded by blue

It’s a place where the present is looking at both the past and the future

It’s a place where we look overseas to find our next door neighbours

It’s a place of natural wonder and manmade beauty

It’s a place I call home.

Copyright 2005 Ó Bruce Palmer

A day with my Grand-daughter 

Grandma, look what I can do 

Watch me Grandma

Grandma can I make some biscuits?

Will you read me a story Grandma?

Grandma I can swim

Grandma I’m nearly six

Grandma I can do gymnastics

Guess what Grandma?



                         I had forgotten how self-centred children could be.


Just a minute dear

Do a nice drawing, Grandma’s writing

Stop chattering, I’m trying to read

I haven’t time just at the moment

Perhaps when I’ve finished this

Aren’t you tired yet?


                          I had forgotten how self-centred I could be.


But by the end of the day she has realised my house is not full of toys and familiar, much-loved objects and Grandma hasn’t the energy to turn cartwheels or the patience to spend countless hours watching her show off.  I have realised, because she has gone back to sucking her thumb, that she is feeling pushed aside by a new baby in her house.

We do special things: make windmills and origami frogs and shortbread. We snuggle in a duvet and I tell her a story and she tells me silly jokes. I give her my undivided attention.

Two days is not much to ask - or give.


Reading Pablo Neruda on the Tranzalpine - July 2001

In the welcome warmth of

The well-heated tourist train

I engross myself completely

In the story of your life

The bitterness and cruel cold

You endured in childhood is

Something I will hopefully

Never know or experience

A much welcome comfort stop

At Arthur's Pass – I alight into

The chilly winter air and am

Immediately chilled to the bone

But I have shoes on my feet

And a warm winter coat -

Thinking of how you endured

Worse – I refuse to complain

Back on the train, I become

Entranced with the beauty of

Your homeland and realise how

Little attention I pay to my own

You were condemned for your

beliefs and exiled from the land

You loved – Yet remained loyal

Dreaming of better things to come

I think of my own country and how

We seem to be moving further and

Further away from the freedoms we

Once enjoyed and took for granted

At the speed of a melting glacier

Our freedoms are being eroded

One day soon we’ll awake and find

We have lost more that we have gained

The government elected by the people

Is no longer for the people but has its

Own agenda of manipulation and control

And we pretend its not happening.

You gave much to your country

But it took a lot more from you

My belief in my own land is waning

I don’t have your strength or dreams

Copyright © 2001 Gaelynne Pound

Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto, was born on 12 July, 1904, in the town of Parral in Chile. He adopted the pen name of Pablo Neruda in memory of the Czechoslovak poet Jan Neruda, using it for 20 years before legally adopting it in 1946.

A poet and diplomat, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. Neruda is the most widely read of the Spanish American poets.


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